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Pinoy Abroad

Abused Saudi Arabia OFW makes distress call from toilet

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who was allegedly abused by her employer, appealed for help and made a distress call from the toilet, according to Oscar Oida’s “24 Oras” report on Friday.

Juliet Manuales, an OFW in Riyadh, shared the details of the abuse she received from her employer during the call.

“Ako po si Juliet Manuales, kasalukuyang nandito… Ako po ay nagreklamo noong December pa. Hanggang ngayon, wala pa ring aksyon,” Manuales said.

(I am Juliet Manuales, I am currently here in the toilet. I made a complaint last December but until now there is no action.)

“December 9 and 10, sinaktan ako. Hanggang December 22, wala akong contact sa pamilya ko dahil kinuha nila lahat ng cellphone ko. Kinulong, sinaktan, lahat ginawa nila. Tiniis ko po ‘yun,” she said.

(They maltreated me last December 9 and 10 until December 22. I have had no contact with my family since they took my cellphone. I was locked and abused. I endured it.)

Manuales said that she only got her cellphone back after she pleaded and promised not to report the maltreatment of her employers.

“Kasi pag nagsumbong daw ako, papatayin nila ako, puputulan ng kamay,” Manuales said.

(If I reported them, they would kill me, they would cut off my hand.)

However, her employer maltreated her again and accused her of stealing money and ATM cards last March 18.

“Lahat ginawa nila, sinakal ng dalawang beses, kinulong, kinuha yung cellphone ko. 10 days ako na walang contact sa pamilya ko. Nagtatrabaho ako para mabuhay at makakain kasi pag di ako gumalaw, papatayin nila ako, sasaktan nila ako,” Manuales said.

(They did everything, strangled me twice, locked me up, took my cellphone. I have had no contact with my family for 10 days. I work to live and eat because if I don't, they will kill me, they will hurt me.)

“Yung agency ko, nakausap ko po pero hindi ko alam kung pinapaasa lang nila ako kasi parang walang aksyon. Nag-aantay ako na makuha dito. Sana po, matulungan ninyo ako,” she added.

(My agency, I talked to them but I don't know if they will help because there seems to be no action. I'm waiting to be rescued. I hope you can help me.)

Manuales's family in Davao de Oro also sought help, adding that they always get emotional when they are communicating with Juliet.

“Siyempre umiiyak kami, wala kaming magawa dahil malayo siya… Kung magsusumbong naman kami, wala naman kaming magawa,” Maricel Ampunan, sister of Manuales, said.

(We were crying because she is far away from us. If we report it, no one will help us.)

According to POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia, they are investigating the agency that deployed Manuales.

“Ipapa-rescue po natin, ipapa-coordinate natin that the measures in place should be implemented meaning to say, kokontakin ‘yung FRA, kokontakin yung agency, kokontakin yung employer, at kokontakin yung designated authority on board para po ma-rescue yung ating kababayan,” Olalia said.

(We will rescue her, we will coordinate and measures in place should be implemented. Meaning to say, we will contact the FRA, we will contact the agency, we will contact the employer, and we will contact the designated authority on board to rescue her.)

Olalia said they will also help Manuales file charges against her employer and her agency if it was proven they neglected her. — Richa Noriega/DVM, GMA News